tv Taiwan Outlook PBS July 30, 2013 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
economic trade and education, indonesia has always maintained close relationships with taiwan. today we are delighted and honored to have mr. ahmed syafri, the representative of the indonesian economic and trade office in taipei, to talk about the state of relations between these countries. thank you for being our special guest on the program. >> thank you. hello, i like to be in taiwan. i have been here for one year. i like to be here very much. >> we enjoyed having you here in taiwan and also on the program. how would you describe the state of the bilateral relationship between indonesia and taiwan? >> bilateral trade is very good. it is excellent every year. not only in trade, but the
economy, investment, culture, education, in everything. it is much better year by year. the development is very good. >> also thanks to your leadership and efforts in terms of promoting the bilateral relations. we understand the indonesian government and taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding in 2012. that is regarding the joint development of the island in indonesia. tell us a little bit about the project. >> we're going to talk about the development project. it is a small island in the northern province. it is the regency island.
it has about 62,000. most of the people live in the coastal areas around the island. the island is a protected zone. there is forest conservation. around the coastal area, there are many resources. >> how far away is the island from taiwan? >> about three hours. >> if you want to go, we need to go through jakarta? >> that is the way to be successful.
later there may be a direct flight. >> what is the status of infrastructure on the island? it has about 62,000 people. there is not much on the island that. >> you are right. one of our goals is how to improve the infrastructure of the roads and also the seaports. it could also be the airport. it is the gate to these specific countries. it is close to the philippines, taiwan, and other countries on the pacific ocean. it is also the date to the eastern part of indonesia. it is important to indonesia and
taiwan. would be e e e e some oe industries that indonesia and taiwan can join together on in terms of the development of >> tourism industry, then agriculture. we have cash crops and food crops. in tourism, we have many resources also. we have marine resources like the coral reefs and fishery. the fishery is important for the people around the island. what we're going to do during this project, we have the taiwan and indonesia and
governments that have appointed the steering committee for the island. we also have a joint workforce. they will direct the direction of this project. they have the vision we need to build. also, the infrastructure and the incentive for the project. >> it has been a little bit over half a year since the memo was signed in 2012. has there been some progress in terms of the investment indonesia would like to attract to the morotai island? >> the first steering committee meeting was held in jakarta. we appointed the workforce.
this july, we're going to have the second steering committee meeting in taipei. we wait until the next steering committee meeting. hopefully we have people with a list of incentives that can be used for infrastructure. we're going to have a special commission. hopefully this year we're going to finish the process this year. in this economic zone, this is the incentive. not only incentive for holidays but other things. >> as i mentioned at the
beginning of the program, indonesia is very important to taiwan and taiwan is important to indonesia. what is the significance of signing this mou to develop morotai island? >> it is the way we're going to have closer and deeper trade, economic, and cultural relationships. it is the recommendation of our government. also from the taiwan government. it is good for both countries, indonesia and taiwan. >> we have now signed the mou. will that be the starting point to further deepen the relationship between the two sites? not just in terms of trade investment also in terms of economics, cultural, social,
tourism, and other areas as well. >> you are right. it is one of the steppingstones to have a closer and deeper relationship between indonesia and taiwan. >> the indonesian economy has been doing very well in recent years. it was certainly be to taiwan's advantage to try to be part of the indonesian economic growth. besides the morotai island development project, what are things on the more general level that you think the indonesian economy can offer to prospective investors from taiwan? not just in the morotai island. >> there have been developments in society. investment coming from taiwan last year was about $900 million.
morotai island is just the beginning. we have been there for more than five years. there are many investors in other parts of indonesia. indonesia is open for investment from taiwan because of our close relations. it is near, indonesia to taiwan. morotai is just a part of what we have been doing so far. i heard about taiwan companies investing in indonesia. >> we have read in local media about some of the very successful taiwanese businesses in indonesia. let's talk about terrorism. this is something we would all like to see develop for morotai
island. >> let's talk about tourism. has there been some growth in recent years? is it one area both sides should try to do more? >> tourists from taiwan is growing every year. except this year, it is a little bit down. it depends on the economy also. if the economy is good, tourism will be good. have you been to indonesia? >> only once, to jakarta. >> indonesia is more than 17,000 islands. >> it is a sizable country. >> from each island, there are at least five big diamonds in indonesia. there are many tourists places
to see. there are places in the western part. there is a beautiful, big lake formed by volcanic eruption 70,000 years ago. in the middle of the leak, there is an island. it is very beautiful there. this is a big water attraction and everything. down from sinatra, there is the west province. the people there belong to a modern line. not all of us are following the line of the father. in this area, it is the maternal line.
the matrilineal family. in the valley, it is well known. you have also been to bali. in sumatra, there is a modern part. there is an island in the southeastern part. there are many others. >> many other places. we should go to indonesia more often. we need to take the first break on our program. when we come back, we will continue this conversation with mr. ahmed syafri, the representative of the indonesian economic and trade office in taipei. i will see you in a few minutes.
>> ♪ >> welcome back to the second segment of today's program on "taiwan outlook." i am your host, ahmed syafri. we continue -- i am your host, wu ray-kuo. we continue our conversation with mr. ahmed syafri. we're talking about the joint development project for the morotai island. the memo was signed in december of last year. what would be some of the recommendations you would make to investors from taiwan and visitors from taiwan interested in the project? >> the recommendation i want to offer them is to come to morotai personally, see for
yourself. see the island is for tile. the ocean resources are rich. the coral reef, is a place for diving. what is also important is the heritage you might see. you might see what happened in world war ii. we have to we're building a-- w. we hope if you will see, we will make you impressed to invest in morotai. come to morotai. we're going to have more promotion.
we have sales there were open by the president last year. people are going back this year. there is the community program on how to improve the infrastructure. we're going to develop also the international port and seaport as a gateway to the ocean and indonesia. >> we're looking at the brand new stage of development in the bilateral relations between indonesia and taiwan. we hope the kinds of projects like the morotai island project will be successful in the future. we also understand indonesia and taiwan have entered into a
preliminary feasibility study of possibly signing something like a free trade pact in the future. how is that coming along? >> if we're talking about free trade agreement, we can see the economic cooperation agreement. there are things from taiwan important for research. is the indonesian institution for sciences. they have been doing a workshop on the preliminary feasibility study. they have recommendations. since the economic measure of taiwan and indonesia is complementary, it is good. it is going to be a benefit for both indonesia and taiwan. they also are talking about the challenges ahead, the
in my personal opinion, we have to look for the development of the agreement between taiwan and china, economic cooperation agreement. we need to develop that one. we need to see and study. then we need to also think about and study about relations between taiwan and singapore. >> also with new zealand. >> singapore is an asian country. this is a stepping stone for us. it is a process. the process is now being done by singapore and taiwan. if the process is ok and there is no additional problem, a think there is the possibility it will be positive for taiwan to be part of it.
why not? >> this is very preliminary. >> preliminary. we have to put it on the near- term and long-term goals. >> i think it is important you mentioned that two economies are very complementary in nature. taiwan is very much export dependant. we need to look for overseas markets for our products and services. in the last 20 or 30 years, we have been very dependent on the market in the u.s., also in europe and japan. in the last 10 years, has played a big role in terms of taiwan's export market. now over 40% of our exports and services go to china. indonesia being one of the largest countries in terms of population and land size is very attractive to taiwan.
there is a lot of room for growth in terms of bilateral trade and very complimentary sense taiwan -- since taiwan needs and market for our products. i think there are a lot of possibilities in the future. we need to look at it from short-term, medium-term, and long term perspective. this is not something that will happen overnight. the bilateral relations between indonesia and taiwan is not only economics and trade, but also in terms of education. there are a lot of educational experiences and exchange is going on. can you mention regarding the state of educational exchanges between the two sites? are you happy with the progress made so far? >> in education, economic
trade, education has increased rapidly also. there is no formal statistics yet on how many students come to study here. last year according to my information, more than 3220 students were here. they come here for the master's degree or undergraduate, post- master's degree and short-term programs. there are many. indonesia is going to taiwan now. not only to the u.s. and europe, but also to taiwan. i believe taiwan is good in education.
we need to encourage our people to study in taiwan. so far, i have been here for one year. it is good. it is good to be here in taiwan to study. >> as i mentioned earlier, indonesia has a huge market. you have a large population. we have. local newspaper reports that there are now recruiting -- we have read that there are local newspaper reports that are now recruiting people to work in indonesia. the pay is better than what we received in taiwan. this is very interesting. it also shows the complementary nature of the economies. do you think there will be more taiwanese people relocating to
indonesia to work and live in the future? >> actually, more than 1000 taiwanese companies are in indonesia. coming here not only for working, but taiwanese married indonesian's. >> yes, indeed. >> this is good also. it makes closer relations between taiwan and indonesia. >> it further solidifies the bond. >> we have the citizens sister city. more than 30,000 married in indonesia. >> that is always a very important part of bilateral relations. we need to take another break on the program. when we come back, we will
>> ♪ >> welcome back to our program. i am your host, wu ray-kuo. we continue our conversation with mr. ahmed syafri, the representative of the indonesian economic and trade office in taipei. you and i were talking about ways the relationship between indonesia and taiwan have developed over the years. one that is very important is the into marriages between the two sides. i was fascinated by the figure you mentioned. what is the incidence of marriage between indonesian people and taiwanese people?
do you remember the number roughly? do you remember the number that comes to your office? >> roughly is about 30,000. there is a sister city between indonesia and taiwan. they want to marry indonesians. taiwan is afraid of an aging population. >> it is a problem. >> most of the females in taiwan do not want to give birth. >> we are at the lowest birthrate. >> in order to have more children, they marry others.
they married japanese. they married indonesian's. they marry chinese. culturally, they are married because they saare chinese, but they have been moving from china for generations. they are the same culture, the same religion. that is good. that is good for them. that is why the intermarriage is much easier and more developed between our people. it is good for the government also. >> you are very kind and modest. i think a lot of people marry people from indonesia not only
because of the common social and cultural backgrounds, but also in terms of the qualities we see in many of the indonesian people. they are very hard-working. they support family values. those are important in taiwan. these are important qualities binding the two people closer. another aspect in relations to the bilateral ties is the indonesian domestic helpers that have been in taiwan. they have certainly played a positive contribution to taiwan's economic development. what is the number of indonesian domestic helpers in taiwan in recent years? in terms of indonesian laborers involved in major construction projects in taiwan? >> for indonesian workers here,
last month it was reaching 196,000. >> almost 200,000. >> the migrant workers here are about 480,000. if 2% is coming from indonesia. -- 50% is coming from indonesia. more than 100,000 our domestic helpers. almost 82%. the rest are here working for companies, factories, and fishing boats. this is the structure of our workers now. there are many problems, of course. there are many difficulties.
i believe our workers in taiwan are in good condition, except for some problems we need to take care of. we have a good relation with the labor unions. yesterday, we were talking about the domestic helpers. one thing that is good for taiwan is our workers here are very loyal. more indonesian workers come to taiwan because they believe taiwan is a good place for work. in order to make close relations, this system of workers need to be developed also. the welfare of our workers and how effective it is.
>> we understand there was the sixth indonesianlabor conference held in september of last year. what were some of the conclusions reached? has there been enough progress in terms of preserving and protecting the rights of indonesian workers in taiwan? >> we talk about a joint working group. it meets annually. it meets next june. the working group will meet in taipei. they will be in a way. it is a nice place to visit. -- they will be in hawaii. it is a nice place to visit. we discuss how to manage equipment, placement, and protection. there are three things that are
the most important. it is very detailed. health care workers, the education of the workers. everything, every detail, we have to make sure it is according to the law of taiwan and also according to the law of indonesia. we have to be in a win-win kind of solution. that is why we need to have a closer relation with the system here, the one taking care of the workers. >> following our earlier discussion regarding the marriage is taking place between the indonesian people and i want people -- taiwan people, more people are considered as new immigrants to taiwan. the children are very important
in terms of the future, becoming the core of the society. pwater some of the programs your government is doing back home to help these children try to assimilate into indonesian society in the future? do you see we are doing enough in terms of helping these children from the new immigrant families to try to integrate into taiwan society? >> if we're talking about immigration, as we discussed before, people who married to taiwanese and chinese, the culture is the same. it is easy for us to be assimilated among them. it is not a big problem, actually. every year we have culture program here in taiwan.
we invited the well-known singer. we had a dance competition and everything. in order for them to be at home. also to show that we are similar. the seafood here is similar to the seafood in indonesia. it is not a big problem. as far as i know, it is not a big problem. >> in terms of cultural exchanges, we are already talking of the language. a lot of the indonesian workers, when they come to taiwan, they did not know much about the language, but after a few months they become very fluid. they're very smart and hard- working. in terms of cultural exchanges, do you see more room for progress in the area of movies,
music, some of the more popular cultural exchanges between the two size? >> i think so. our workers before going to taiwan have been trained for three months or more. they have to adapt themselves. they have to know what taiwan, the culture of taiwan, with the culture is the same or not. also mandarin. they speak mandarin also. also how to work properly, how to be better workers. this is the way the government of indonesia prepares the workers. we wanted to be good.
-- we want it to be good. we prepared the workers to have a good salary and taiwan --in taiwan. it complements the culture. we have invited singer's. sometimes movie stars we invite to come to taiwan. there are many organizations in indonesian society here in taipei. through organizations, they can interact with each other. they can interact with each other to be better of assimilation among them. not only among them but also the people here. >> i do see some progress being made in taiwan to make these
immigrant workers from indonesia more at home. what would be some of the things you can recommend for us? nowadays i go to the hypermarket. icy sections of indonesian food ingredients provided. are there more things we can do to try to make the immigrant workers more at home? >> more than 400 small stores, not only food they sell, indonesian food. more than 400 now. more stores and shops in order to -- in order for them to be at home. >> that is a good idea for small business. we need to take a final break on our program. when we come back, we will wrap up this very interesting conversation with mr. ahmed
>> ♪ >> welcome back to the final segment of today's program on "taiwan outlook." i am your host, wu ray-kuo. we will continue and hopefully about this fascinating conversation with mr. ahmed syafri, the representative of the indonesian economic trade office in taipei. you have been in taiwan for about a year now. you had never been to taiwan before your current assignment. what was your first impression of the island when you first arrive? >> that is an interesting question.
i had never been here before last year. i had been to china, japan, korea, except taiwan. i have never been here. i never would have known i would have been assigned to tie one. taiwan is the tiger of the economy. it is one of the tigers. i believe taiwan is better, good. when i arrived here, it is good. it is suitable to what i had heard and read about taiwan. after one week year, one month, two months, there are many things i like about being here. it was the first time for me to be here.
i am a little bit afraid to go around at night or something. after two or three months, nothing happened. taiwan and taipei is safe. it is a very good idea to be here. the food is similar to what we have and indonesia. it is more spicy, of course. back home is more spicy. but it is good. safe, secure, also the people are friendly here. it is not just to make a good kind of impression to taiwan. i have been here for one year. i know the people also like to work. in taipei.
in taiwan. >> do you miss the food back home? when you do, is there an authentic indonesian restaurant in taipei that you can find? >> yes, there are some. there are some restaurants that sell indonesian cuisine here. as long as it is spicy, i like it very much. you can ask the restaurant keeper. la chau is good for me. it is spicy. it is all over taiwan, taipei. small indonesian restaurants. that is why i told you this. also for the workers here, to
live here. -- that is why i told you is good for the workers here, to live here. >> what do you do on the weekends and holidays? do you go hiking or go to the beaches and mountains? >> jogging around my house. sometimes i play golf, but i am not good at golf. exercises at home, of course. walking, going to see the beautiful ocean, going to the lake. >> have you been around the island? parts not yet. -- >> not yet. we will be going to see it things on vacation and also our workers.
while enjoying taiwan, we're working for our people in taiwan. >> yes, indeed. what was your impression of the different cities to have visited? taipei, people think it is very different from others. you have been to other places in taiwan as well. this may not be a fair question, but do you have a favorite city? >> i do not have any favorite. as long as it is good to be run, to be safe and secure, friendly people, taipei and other parts of taiwan, i liked it very much. >> i understand your family is here with you. your son is back home in indonesia. they come for a visit. as a family, did you have to make adjustments in terms of
adapting to life in taiwan? >> i do not think so anymore. i have been around. i was in london. i have been around. with chinese dissidents, there are more than 50 million people there. it is good. it looks like at home. -- with chinese descendants, there are more than 50 million people there. for me, it is not difficult for me to adapt myself to taiwan's environment. i like to be here. >> talking about jakarta, is one of the largest cities in asia. what are some of the
similarities you see between jakarta and taipei, other than the fact they are both international cities? >> reair more developed -- we are more developed. starting next year, we will develop mrt. >> what about traffic? >> indonesia as vibrant economics. traffic is common in indonesia. it is because of the economy. >> you also have a large population. . jakarta is more than 10 million. >> it is three times the size of taipei in terms of population. >> we need to study more about your -- here in terms of the
economy, how they prepare public services here. i think we're going to come back. there are many things to be brought to jakarta. not only about how the government takes care of the people. in jakarta, the government wants to be a good city center. >> it has a lot of potential. >> it has a lot of potential. the traffic jam is because of our economy growing. it is diminished if the economy is not working. we like it. we want it to be in better condition for jakarta and
indonesia in order to be visited by taiwanese people and other people as well. >> you have been a career diplomat your country for many years. a lot of people may be watching the program today. the younger generation especially. if they are interested in a career in diplomacy, what would be your recommendation or advice to them as they prepare to start their careers? >> if you want to represent our country, you have to work hard. you have to know what to do. you have to know your own country first. then you have to know also where you are assigned. i have to know indonesia and taiwan. the patient. be patient.
we have to be supportive of each other. the most important thing also is we have to be looking for solutions. harmony will be there. it is good. more reading, more studying. later i want to finish my doctoral degree. when i come back, i want to be a lecturer. >> then we will be addressing u.s. dr. ahmed syafri -- addressing you asked dr. ahmed syafri. we want to wish you all the best in your personal and professional endeavors. thank you for watching our program today. i will see you next time. >> ♪
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